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Friday, August 11, 2017

Links - 11th August 2017 (1)

Trump achieves what few presidents have: Strong economy, low approval ratings
Funny, I thought it would be a Historic Election as he would make history as the Last President of the United States

Google Can’t Seem to Tolerate Diversity - "Silicon Valley has a very peculiar definition of diversity that requires proportional representation from every gender and race, all of whom must think exactly alike. Given that Google has failed to reach this ideal despite nearly a decade of efforts, Damore might be right to suggest that it try a different tack... Suppressing intellectual debate on college campuses is bad enough. Doing the same in Silicon Valley, which has essentially become a finishing school for elite universities, compounds the problem. Its engineers build products that potentially shape our digital lives. At Google, they oversee a search algorithm that seeks to surface “authoritative” results and demote low-quality content. This algorithm is tuned by an internal team of evaluators. If the company silences dissent within its own ranks, why should we trust it to manage our access to information?"

The Culture Wars Have Come to Silicon Valley - - "Such fractures have been building in Silicon Valley for some time, reaching even into its highest echelons. The tensions became evident last year with the rise of Donald J. Trump, when a handful of people from the industry who publicly supported the then-presidential candidate faced blowback for their political decisions. At Facebook, Peter Thiel, an investor and member of the social network’s board of directors, was told he would receive a negative evaluation of his board performance for supporting Mr. Trump by a peer, Reed Hastings, the chief executive of Netflix. And Palmer Luckey, a founder of Oculus VR, a virtual reality start-up owned by Facebook, was pressured to leave the company after it was revealed that he had secretly funded a pro-Trump organization... Steven Pinker, a Harvard University cognitive scientist, said on Twitter that Google’s actions could increase support for Mr. Trump in the tech industry... Some prominent Silicon Valley figures are concerned there is too much political conformity in the tech industry. On a podcast in May, Marc Andreessen, the venture capitalist, said he knew of only two Trump supporters in Silicon Valley, Mr. Thiel and Mr. Luckey. “What does it do to somebody when they feel like they literally can’t express themselves?” said Mr. Andreessen, a Facebook board member who backed Mrs. Clinton last year."

Not lack of ability but more choice: individual and gender differences in choice of careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. - "mathematically capable individuals who also had high verbal skills were less likely to pursue STEM careers than were individuals who had high math skills but moderate verbal skills. One notable finding was that the group with high math and high verbal ability included more females than males."
Addendum: Quillette: "The authors included Jacquelynne Eccles who is well known for a career spanning decades studying student motivation and gender differences."

Why so few women in CS: the Google memo is fundamentally right - "Women want to work less and have more flexibility (Lubinski et al. 2014), and this explains why there is no ex-ante wage gap in industries with constant return to hours, and large ones in industries where working more increases productivity more than proportionately (Goldin, 2014)
Finally, differences in the mean can become magnified when one gets to the tails of the distributions."...
Whatever happened in 1985 and 2003 [to decrease women enrolling in Computer Science] was not something that affected only women... Going back to out 1985 peak, some people at reddit adventure some explanations. One is the one at NPR, that computers were seen as a male thing. But this does not explain why male CS enrollment also fell. Another explanation is not that women stopped liking computers because they were a male thing, but men instead began liking computers more, as they came to be regarded as a thing to hack and tinker, not a boring office tool. Another possible explanation, advanced here is that men are more financially driven, and that they were attracted more than women to CS careers. This explanation aims to explain why there were two bubbles in the time series. The computers-are-for-boys thesis does not explain this. We knew there was a dotcom bubble in the early 2000s. But was there a bubble around 1985? Not a financial one, no. But there were capacity contraints (Roberts, 2016). As more and more people enrolled into CS due to the boom in personal computing, the colleges found themselves without enough capacity to attend the growing demand. So they restricted the number of positions open for new students. Making the process more competitive (i.e. sampling further to the right in the distribution of skills) will get you relatively more men... Lippa et al. find that 40% of the variance in the gender between occupations is explained mostly by things vs people orientation"

Malaysian women redefine gender roles in technology - "in Malaysia, where women make up between 50 and 60 percent of the computer industry’s employees and many hold mid- and upper-level management positions. The country’s burgeoning technology industry has brought about dramatic changes to women’s roles in society, changing traditional perceptions of class, ethnicity and gender... In contrast to the U.S., in Malaysia jobs in technology are seen as appropriate for women: Men do not perceive indoor work as masculine and much of society stigmatizes women who work outdoors as lower class. Computing and programming are seen as “women-friendly” professions, with opportunities opening up since men are not interested in competing for these types of jobs. “It’s a woman’s world in that respect,” said Mellstrom."
It looks like "patriarchy" is good for women, given how women are so much into STEM in all the countries with more strict gender norms

Does stereotype threat influence performance of girls in stereotyped domains? A meta-analysis - "The estimated mean effect size equaled − 0.22 and significantly differed from 0. None of the moderator variables was significant; however, there were several signs for the presence of publication bias. We conclude that publication bias might seriously distort the literature on the effects of stereotype threat among schoolgirls"

How Big are Psychological Sex Differences? - "Hyde (2014), for example, reviewed several psychological sex differences and concluded there are relatively moderate to large sex differences in spatial rotation abilities, agreeableness, sensation seeking, interests in things versus people, physical aggression, certain sexual behaviors (e.g., masturbation and pornography use), and attitudes about casual sex. Smaller sex differences exist in measures of gregariousness, reward sensitivity, conscientiousness, negative affectivity, relational aggression, and self-esteem. Some of these sex differences persisted in size across cultures and time periods, others did not (see also, Lippa, 2009; Schmitt, 2014)... Ellis (2011a, 2011b) used his evolutionary neuroandrogenic theory as a guide to examine psychological sex differences and amassed evidence of 65 apparently universal sex differences. These sex differences were shown to be universal across cultures, with not a single replication failure across 10 studies... sex differences in many aspects of personality, sexuality, and cognition are actually much larger in cultures with more egalitarian sex role socialization and greater sociopolitical gender equity. This includes sex differences in extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, openness, Machiavellianism, Narcissism, psychopathy, social dominance orientation, dismissing attachment, intimate partner violence, spatial location ability, spatial rotation ability, crying behavior, depression, benevolence values, love, empathetic occupational preferences, enjoying casual sex, mate preferences for attractiveness, self-esteem, and subjective well-being"

Sex differences in chimpanzees' use of sticks as play objects resemble those of children - "Sex differences in children's toy play are robust and similar across cultures. They include girls tending to play more with dolls and boys more with wheeled toys and pretend weaponry. This pattern is explained by socialization by elders and peers, male rejection of opposite-sex behavior and innate sex differences in activity preferences that are facilitated by specific toys. Evidence for biological factors is controversial but mounting. For instance, girls who have been exposed to high fetal androgen levels are known to make relatively masculine toy choices. Also, when presented with sex-stereotyped human toys, captive female monkeys play more with typically feminine toys, whereas male monkeys play more with masculine toys. In human and nonhuman primates, juvenile females demonstrate a greater interest in infants, and males in rough-and-tumble play. This sex difference in activity preferences parallels adult behavior and may contribute to differences in toy play. Here, we present the first evidence of sex differences in use of play objects in a wild primate, in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). We find that juveniles tend to carry sticks in a manner suggestive of rudimentary doll play and, as in children and captive monkeys, this behavior is more common in females than in males."
Patriarchy strikes again!

Women are far more anxious than men – here's the science - "Women faced with life stressors are more likely to ruminate about them, which can increase their anxiety, while men engage more in active, problem-focused coping"

Personality and gender differences in global perspective - "Empirically, evidence suggests gender differences in most aspects of personality—Big Five traits, Dark Triad traits, self-esteem, subjective well-being, depression and values—are conspicuously larger in cultures with more egalitarian gender roles, gender socialization and sociopolitical gender equity. Similar patterns are evident when examining objectively measured attributes such as tested cognitive abilities and physical traits such as height and blood pressure. Social role theory appears inadequate for explaining some of the observed cultural variations in men's and women's personalities. Evolutionary theories regarding ecologically-evoked gender differences are described that may prove more useful in explaining global variation in human personality."

Federal Judge Halts Disciplinary Action for Students Accused of 'Liking' Racist Instagram Post - "A federal judge has ordered the Albany Unified School District not to take further action against four students threatened with expulsion for “liking” racist images posted on Instagram, citing First Amendment concerns... the teenagers refused to cave in and brought a lawsuit against the Albany High School administration claiming the school’s punitive actions were both disproportionate to their behavior and violated of their right to free speech. They also accused the school of “publicly shaming” them in front of other students as part of a so-called “atonement exercise” in which their peers were allowed to hurl insults at them on a make-shift public square. School officials failed to provide adequate security for the teenagers during the exercise—causing two of them to be hit in the head by a demonstrator—the suit claims."

Swedish military lion gets the snip after women troops protest - "The proud lion of Sweden's Nordic Battlegroup's coat of arms has been emasculated because a group of female soldiers lodged a complaint with the European Court of Justice. Christian Braunstein, from the Tradition Commission of the Swedish Army, said: "We were forced to cut the lion's willy off with the aid of a computer"... "The army lacks knowledge about heraldry. Once upon a time coats of arms containing lions without genitalia were given to those who betrayed the Crown." Vladimir Sagerlund told the Göteborgs-Posten"

Brain Drain from Southeast Asia Poses Obstacle to Growth - "Close to 10 percent of the highly-educated citizens from the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam live in OECD countries. For Laos and Cambodia, the ratio is about 15 percent. The emigration comes even as Southeast Asia has made tremendous progress in boosting education in recent decades. More than 50 percent of Filipinos, Malaysians, and Singaporeans in OECD countries are highly educated, compared to the average of 30 percent. Immigrants from Southeast Asia are also often more educated or more experienced than what is needed for the jobs they hold"
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